Where did I come from, where am I going?

My name is Asia (pronounced ash-ah), and I’m a graphic designer from Toronto, Canada. My passions are designing, art, travel & exploration, snowboarding, cars, reading, animals & wildlife, shopping, and spending time with those I love.

I was born in Poland, where I spent my first 5 years of life. From a young age, I was surrounded by art & culture due to my parents love for it and the exciting Polish art scene. I quickly grew to love anything art related: you would rarely find me without a paintbrush or pencil in my hand. We moved to Germany for just over a year and then in 1988, finally landed in Canada – ‘the land of dreams’. Upon arrival, I was astonished at how different Canada truly was – it was a country of richness, diversity, multiculturalism and opportunity.

I excelled in all aspects of academics and art through all years of studies, and finally in Grade 11, enrolled in Communication Technology, a class that majored in Graphic Design. After handing in the first project, I knew without a doubt that Graphic Design was going to be my career choice.

I enrolled in a 3 year Advanced Graphic Design program at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. The three years of school were quite the challenge. I went through endless sleepless nights, and spent every last penny on coffee, but I loved every second of it. It was exactly what I wanted, a challenge, and it tested my strength. I graduated with honours, and was sad to say goodbye to the world of school.

Upon graduation, I did a 3 month internship at SBC Media, an editorial company focusing on extreme sports, where I got a little taste of the real world of graphic design. I could not wait to be born into it.

Once the internship was complete, I was hired at OrangeDingo/CSM Enterprises, a silk screening company as well as apparel line, where I learned the entire silk screening process. I prepared files for screening, printed films, chose pantones, and had the chance to help design OrangeDingo apparel line graphics.

My next embarkment was at Add Impact, a promotional marketing company that deals with small companies as well as large corporations such as Longo’s, Mercedes Benz, & Nikon. I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge in the marketing world, as well as work closely with the President of the company.

My next career move was to Off The Wall, a division of Billabong International and sister company of West49. The only designer for the Off The Wall retail chain, I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I was able to learn, absorb and grow as a designer more than I ever imagined. I went from designing store interior & exterior visuals, to creating concepts & creatively executing graphics for promotions, to re-designing an entire retail website, to designing graphic tees as well as entire private label programs, to everything in between, all while being completely in love with the Off The Wall brand and lifestyle. Sadly, the company had to close its doors 2 years after I joined the team. I ended up moving to the other side of the office, West49, and continued working on store visuals & promotions for both West49 and Billabong stores. At West49 I had the opportunity of re-branding the West49 girl, taking her from the passe ‘Avril Lavigne skatergirl’ to a fashion-savvy, adventurous, creative and wild at heart young woman. With the creation of the new customer face, our marketing was adjusted to match our new target vision. Ladies sales substantially grew and this challenge was a success. West49 also allowed me to further develop my leadership skills, art directing many photoshoots and working with a talented group of peers to continuously produce successful marketing campaigns.

After West49 I ventured off to Bluenotes, a division of YM Inc., Canada’s largest privately owned retailer with over 750 stores under its belt. Bluenotes, a denim-focused youth retailer was a unique change to the lifestyle focused West49. At Bluenotes, I am continuously challenged with creating fresh promotion-focused marketing campaigns and powerful seasonal photoshoots.

In the future, I hope to work for a creative marketing or advertising agency, or continue on in the fashion/retail industry. As long as I’m working in the creative field and using the right side of my brain, I will be thanking my lucky stars.